Let's Talk About Merch: The Trending Fashion Wave That Just Won't Quit


(Image credit: Courtesy of MadHappy; Museum of Peace & Quiet)

When I first think of merch, I think of the T-shirts I'd see students wearing in high school featuring the cool band they saw at the local concert arena or the logo of the college they aspired to get into. To me, merch was something that told a little story about the person wearing it and it felt more personal than the other pieces of clothing one owned. While fashion merch has evolved a long way from then, making its way into more communities, subcultures, and aesthetics. The core of it is still there: the desire to wear and represent your favorite brand/organization/cause.

Today, it's not just about slapping a logo or image on a T-shirt. There are higher expectations set in place because when one buys a merch item, they're associating themselves with a part of that image—whether it's a message, aesthetic, or a brand. Either way, it's something they obviously want to incorporate into their dressing, so why not make it look good, too? Artists have already received the memo and got more creative with keeping their fanbase entertained with their promotional clothing, like Taylor Swift with her album themed cardigans and Justin Bieber's streetwear line, Drewhouse.

Music items aside, there's a whole group of merch to get into. From beauty to the wellness and mental health space, brands are taking note that people want to feel connected to their clothing, more than ever. If a design, image, or quote can resonate with someone on a further basis than just aesthetics, all the more reason for them to wear it.

If you're interested in the merch fashion scene and want to know what you're missing, then I've relayed some of the best options on the market right now. Keep scrolling to find one you'll be happy to add to your cart.


(Image credit: @jordanrisa)


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Associate Fashion Editor
Yusra Siddiqui is an editor who resides in New Jersey but bounces between the suburbs and NYC. (She's a Jersey girl at heart.) After interning at Who What Wear in 2019, she found her way to the team after graduating from LIM College in 2022 with a fashion media degree. She's also spent time writing and working for publications such as Fashionista, Coveteur, and Nylon, but she always knew that Who What Wear was where she was meant to be. When she's on the job, she's perusing runway shows, analyzing the latest thing fellow Gen Zers are up to on the internet, and sharing what she can about the modest-fashion market. You can also catch her dabbling in entertainment, talking about the costume choices of the latest Netflix series or diving deeper into how the plotline affects the viewers in a myriad of ways. Lastly, she likes to create content for Who What Wear's TikTok. Her personal time is spent doing similar but also different things—deep diving into almost every new TV show (Bridgerton, Gilmore Girls, and Stranger Things are favorites), planning her next local getaway (whenever that may be), and reading the latest Emily Henry or Sally Rooney novel in one sitting.